Leonard Haze is an American-born rock drummer and songwriter. He is a founding member and one of the principal songwriters for the Bay Area hard rock band Yesterday & Today, later known as Y&T. He co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including "Hurricane," "Black Tiger," "Mean Streak," "Rescue Me," "Dirty Girl," "Forever," and MTV staple "Summertime Girls."
Y&T recorded their first record when Haze was 20, with Haze writing a majority of the lyrics and a good share of the music, as would be the case for many of the band's subsequent releases. Haze's playing was deeply influenced by drummers such as Ringo Starr, Ginger Baker, John Bonham, and Denny Carmassi, while his songwriting was heavily influenced by his love of the songs of The Beatles, whose album Yesterday and Today was referenced by Haze and unintentionally became his group's moniker.
It was Haze's bass drum prowess that made his powerful drumming style legendary and, thanks to it, Y&T quickly developed the reputation as a must-see live band and musical powerhouse, headlining shows with opening acts such as Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others. Y&T's hard-driving style helped them land worldwide tours alongside such acts as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rush, which resulted in the development of a strong following throughout Europe.
Through his work with producer Chris Tsangarides on Y&T's Mean Streak, Leonard was contacted by Ian Gillan, singer for the legendary Deep Purple. Gillan reached out to Haze to play drums on his album Toolbox. A great camaraderie developed during the recording sessions, and Gillan asked Haze to join the band. Haze was part of one of the first rock bands ever to not only perform, but tour, behind the "Iron Curtain," traversing the Soviet Union during the cold war. After that tour, Haze became a permanent member of the Ian Gillan band, continuing with a two-year world tour and performing in 71 countries.
In 2002, Haze reunited with Y&T and went back on tour with them throughout the United States until they parted ways in 2006.
"The worst gig I've ever had is still better than the best day anyone has working a forty-hour week. Getting paid to play music is a dream job on par with being a pro athlete, astronaut, or movie star. To make money doing something you love for 35 years...who says we didn't make it big?"Leonard Haze